Tag Archives: art

LACMA | Los Angeles County Museum of Art

We visited the buildings and public art of LACMA as a continuation of our afternoon at the La Brea Tar Pits. Who knew modern art would be so enjoyable and appropriate as a rejoinder to prehistoric time travel. From Richard Serra’s elegant “Band” sculpture, the lines of William Periera’s architecture and Bruce Goff’s elegant, sweeping Pavilion for Japanese Art, to the “Urban Light” sculpture by Chris Burden and Michael Heizer’s “Levitating Mass” my brain reached for endless interpretions of the art. Therefore I highly recommend modern art for the brain, on the heels of thinking deeply about human beings’ role in mass extinction and climate change.

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Chicago Cultural Center

michigan avenue chicago cultural center arthur mullen raven beauty 3rdarm sunset

My friend Pierce has been doing sound check at the summer dance series that runs every summer in Grant Park: I have been many times to dance in the park throughout the years but only visited the Chicago Cultural Center itself in the past month. The building is worth a visit alone, with its impressive architecture and inspirational art collection. I remember one piece that got me thinking, saying something about how there is no halfway when it comes to respect: you either respect another person, or you do not.

michigan avenue chicago cultural center arthur mullen raven beauty 3rdarm sunset

The reason for my first visit was to go with Raven Beauty to the exhibit, “Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen.” What an interesting conceptual piece to bring in to the center: good job to whoever curated this. Like the strandbeests themselves, walking the beaches by power of wind, I hope there are similar works making their way to the Chicago Cultural Center. And I hope everyone who visits knows the proximity to Shake Shack burgers and milkshakes!

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She Changes

she changes janet echelman porto portugal public sculpture floating red nets wind choreography matosinhos beach portugal 3rdarm art

When I visited Porto, this giant unidentified object, floating over Cidade Salvador Plaza by the beach in Matosinhos, caught my eye right away. Layers of red netting are suspended in the open air many tens of meters above the ground, undulating as if alive. What is that thing? I asked my friend. She told me it was a jellyfish.

she changes janet echelman porto portugal public sculpture floating red nets wind choreography matosinhos beach portugal 3rdarm art

Later on the internet, I found out that it’s called, “She Changes,” by Fulbright-winning artist Janet Echelman. “She Changes” is recognized as the first monumental public sculpture that moves fluidly in the air, performing what is described as “wind choreography.” The residents of Porto interpret this work as symbolizing Portuguese lace, fishing nets, rippling water, smokestacks, sails and mast from Portugal’s maritime past, and more.

The art has been left open for them to ascribe their own meaning and story. For me, I do what my friend tells me to do (except when she says no to gas money.) IT’S A JELLYFISH.

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Strangers

 Estação de São Bento 3rdarm train station porto portugal stained glass indigo murals

Respect to the city of Porto for the beauty of it’s public spaces (all those meticulously tiled streets) and buildings. The São Bento train station has layers of details that need to be seen at human scale to be fully appreciated.

 Estação de São Bento 3rdarm train station porto portugal stained glass indigo murals

The exterior lighting on the stone and stained glass makes this historic portal to all points outbound positively glow at night. Indigo murals and handcrafted masonry captivate all who enter.

 Estação de São Bento 3rdarm train station porto portugal stained glass indigo murals

And the train station actually functions! Commuters and travelers flow through throngs of slack-jawed tourists gazing up at arches, art, and open air views of the neighborhood beyond the tracks.

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Palacio de Gobierno

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

We took a walking tour of Merida that brought us to the Palace of Government.

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

What a beautiful museum that tells the history of the Yucatan in general, and Merida in particular.

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

Often brutal, the conquistadors never fully conquered the Maya, and you can see the Maya’s defiance in art both provocative and subtle.

3rdarm rick bayless frontera grill staff trip xoco yucatan merida maya uxmal cochinita pibil poc chuc arthur mullen manager

This museum is a must-see for first time visitors to Merida: getting a guide who speaks English is worth the effort for the amazing stories!

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Art Menu

topolobampo chicago jose pacheco rishi art menu fresh water eel 3rdarm arthur mullen

On Tuesday the chefs rolled out the 2015 Art Menu at Topolobampo. It’s a seven course tasting menu where each dish represents a different work of art in the Bayless’ collection.

topolobampo chicago jose pacheco rishi art menu fresh water eel 3rdarm arthur mullen

It’s my favorite menu of the year to photograph. It’s also one of the most interesting takes on eating I have experienced – or have yet to experience. Etta and I have a reservation for a late dinner at Topolobampo next week.

topolobampo chicago jose pacheco rishi art menu fresh water eel 3rdarm arthur mullen

The above dish is a combination of roasted lamb and fresh water eel.

topolobampo chicago jose pacheco rishi art menu fresh water eel 3rdarm arthur mullen

It will be my first time eating in the Topolo dining room!

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Bloom

nick murway zagat chicago chocolate process photos 3rdarm bill blair xoco arthur mullen art photography

Just in time for the change of seasons, from winter to spring, we hung new photographs in Xoco. They are photographs by Nick Murway, who shot them with Sarah Freeman, for a piece by Zagat Chicago called, “Behind-the-Scenes Chocolate Making at XOCO Chicago.” These photos tell the story of how we make chocolate.

nick murway zagat chicago chocolate process photos 3rdarm bill blair xoco arthur mullen art photography

The famous Bill Blair pieces, such as, “The Flying Torta,” have a new home in the Xoco dining room. All seven Bill Blair dimensions of the Xoco experience will now accompany our guests while they dine.

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Black Corn

Flor Garduno photo contrasto 3rdarm

I have been loving the photo book Contrasto, by Flor Garduño, with its magical images of women, animals and Mexico. The photos are like dreamscapes that are always forgotten: when I wake up I only remember the feeling.

Flor Garduno photo contrasto 3rdarm

In my dreams, I have been visiting my grandma Happy’s house often. This week I dreamed that Happy was dating somebody new!

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Museo de Arte Moderno

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen Museo de Arte Moderno

The museum was free on the Sunday we visited, but would have been worth paying for.

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen Museo de Arte Moderno

The building itself embodies modernism, as does the sculpture park on its grounds.

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen Museo de Arte Moderno

I found the galleries, ever changing, to be full of curiosities…

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen Museo de Arte Moderno

…from a collection of mind-bending paintings of wizards, to humanscale three dimensional tunnels and spheres made of antlers.

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Screwneck Wizard

frontera grill screwneck wizard arthur mullen xoco 3rdarm chicago

We have an amazing art collection at work. Recently added to Topolobampo is a huge modern painting of Leda and the Swan, the myth where Zeus takes the form of a swan and seduces Leda and forces her to have sex. Its a very disturbing piece: the canvas is a giant river of red with a crimson comic book-style woman in distress encircled by a snarling black and white swan. I’ve had bad dreams.

Another big part of the art collection is paper mache. In particular, on the shelves above the cubes near my office, are a paper mache devil and wizard. When we had a week off at the start of the year, the office was remodeled. I asked our human resources manager if it would be possible to relocate the wizard with the screwneck: the devil was OK.

The screwneck wizard is a wildcard.

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